Physical activity is any form of exercise or movement of the body that uses energy. Some of your daily life activities—doing active chores around the house, yard work, walking the dog—are examples. The more you do, the greater the health benefits and the better you’ll feel.
To get the health benefits of physical activity, include activities that make you breathe harder and make your heart and blood vessels healthier. These aerobic activities include things like brisk walking, running, dancing, swimming, and playing basketball. Also include strengthening activities to make your muscles stronger, like push-ups and lifting weights.
The good news?
People of all types, shapes, sizes, and abilities can benefit from being physically active. If you have a disability, choose activities that work for you. Talk with your health care team about the amount and types of activities that are right for your ability or condition.
Arlington, Virginia came in on top in this year’s ranking of the most physically fit U.S. cities by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which determined that Arlington had the lowest smoking rate among the largest cities and the best reports of good or excellent health.
Also in the top 10: Minneapolis, MN; Madison, WI; Portland, OR; Seattle; Denver; St. Paul, MN; San Jose, CA; and Boise, ID.
Arlington edged out Minneapolis, MN by only half a point, and beat Washington, D.C., just across the Potomac River by 3.7 points. The lowest ranked cities on the list were Oklahoma City, OK; Indianapolis, IN; Louisville, KY; Detroit, MI; and Toledo, OH. *
The ACSM fitness index assesses 33 measures of health behaviors, diseases and community infrastructure to determine the most fit city. It reported that more than three-quarters of adults in all 100 cities were physically active in the month before the survey, although only half of them met aerobic activity guidelines and merely 22 percent met both strength and aerobic guidelines. In terms of diet, the ACSM found that only 30 percent of adults responding reported eating at least two servings of fruit daily and only 18 percent said they eat three or more servings of vegetables per day.
No matter who you are or what you do; your energy levels (and motivation) will hit flat spots. This article from Whole Life Challenge will give you some insight and tips on dealing with these energy flat spots and reenergize yourself when they “rear” their ugly heads.
The energy we refer to is not just physical. It is a combination of physical, mental, emotional and professional phenomena. Physically the signs can be fairly obvious; fatigue, headaches, slowing of reflexes and even blurred vision. Mentally and emotionally, it can produce moodiness, irritability, and lack of focus and concentration.
All in all, these symptoms can dramatically affect your personal and professional lives. It can even make you more susceptible to illness and disease. It is easy to see why guarding against these energy “valleys” is to your advantage. But, how do you do it?
Physically: Eat well, move well, and sleep well. Manage your ultradyne rhythms (our energy cycle repeats every 90-120 minutes). Take regular breaks; a 5-minute walk, stretching, and deep breathing can all help. Avoid distractions; believe it or not, multitasking is a myth. It is not efficient or productive.
Emotionally: Emotional and mental levels can be restored, by feeding your mind. Stop negative self-talk. Be conscious and aware of the things that drain you. Make a list of the things that uplift you and do them often. There are people who drain your energy, avoid them and connect with the ones that make you feel happy. Finally, set some time aside to decompress.
Professionally: Manage the physical mental, and emotional challenges you face daily and it will manifest solutions to your professional energy problems. My company has a coaching construct, which allows me to turn to others whom I respect for advice and support. But remember, these flat spots are, for the most part, temporary so do not let them defeat you. Victory is around the corner.